Kickin’ Coal Ash – We Did it!

We won- for now! Thank you sincerely to all those who helped kick coal ash out of the Transportation Bill! This was an extremely tough fight and an exceedingly close battle. Your support by joining letters, making calls, sending emails and sharing our alerts with your friends clearly made the difference. We could not have won this without your support!

Unfortunately, we know that that a few congressmen, led by Rep. McKinley (WV), aren’t finished with attempts to strip the EPA of their power to regulate toxic coal ash. After the vote, McKinley quickly responded, “We’re not finished. I can say that. We’re not finished.”

And although we were successful this time around, our Rep. Heath Shuler voted against us, urging Congress to keep the terrible coal ash amendment. Please take a moment and ask Rep. Shuler to do the right thing next time around! We need him to stand with his constituents and stand up for clean water NOT coal ash!

Keep up the good fight folks, we’re making a big difference!

What the Frack?

A HUGE thanks to everyone who contacted Gov. Bev Perdue’s office to tell her to veto the fracking bill! Gov. Perdue was on the fence about the dangerous practice of fracking for natural gas, but the unprecedented volume of calls and letters pushed her to the side of protecting the environment and public health, and she vetoed the bill!!! A huge victory.

Unfortunately, this story came to a sad conclusion. In the cover of darkness and in one of the most bizarre voting sessions we’ve ever seen at the North Carolina General Assembly, the state legislature voted to override the Gov. Pedue’s veto of the fracking bill (S820).

Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) accidentally pushed “green” and cast the deciding vote to override the veto. She was not allowed to change her vote because of an arcane rule.

Another legislator, Rep. Susi Hamilton, appears to have brokered a deal with the Republican leadership and switched her vote from opposing to supporting fracking. From many reports, it appears that Republican leaders, in exchange, passed her pet project, a $60 million tax incentive for the film industry. You can read more about the crazy night here.

While we may have lost this battle, THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER! Our legislators will have to approve rules and hold another vote (likely in 2 years) before any fracking operations could begin in N.C.  (because while legal, no permits may be issued).

We plan to be at the forefront of these conversations – highlighting the paramount need to protect our water and public health above all else. In the meantime, it’s important that we reach out and “thank” or “”spank” our legislators- we’ll need their votes in the future! Find your representative HERE.

It’s important they know now where their constituents stand on this important issue!

Historic Mercury and Air Toxics Rule Upheld!

More good news! The Senate REJECTED an attempt to overturn the Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS), a set of new standards that protects Americans from airborne pollutants like arsenic, mercury, and acid gas.These safeguards will prevent as many as 11,000 preventable deaths every year and would create as many as 54,000 jobs as utilities upgrade to the cleaner, safer technology. Some advocates of dirty energy were trying to kill these lifesaving measures, but thankfully the Senate defeated that measure in a bipartisan 53-46 vote. Sen. Kay Hagan voted to protect the air we breathe, while Sen. Richard Burr came down on the side of endangering the health of all Americans. Why not let Sen. Hagan know that you’re pleased with her vote , and Sen. Burr know that you’re disappointed with him? At any rate, it was a good day for our lungs!

Veto the Anti-Science Bills!

No rest for the weary: the NC General Assembly has continued its assault on North Carolina’s sensible safeguards with a trio of bad bills. House Bill 819, which has made our state the butt of jokes across the nation, would attempt to change the course of nature by changing the law.

This bill would bar the state from using science to predict changes in sea level, and instead would use the numbers that are in the best interest of special interests.

Senate Bill 229 is a new kind of Christmas in July, though quite different from the one just celebrated in West Jefferson. Instead of a festival of food, music, and fun, this would be a give away to polluters and special interest groups. nally, there is House Bill 953, a hodge podge of bad environmental policy. Among other provisions, H953 would delay the implementation of pollution safeguards around Jordan Lake for at least two years. After all, why do today what can be put off until tomorrow?

Please tell Governor Perdue to do the sensible thing and veto these bad bills!